Let Pete in the Hall

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Posted Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 12:00am

Pete Rose is considered by many to be one of the greatest baseball players to have ever played the game, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. Yes, Rose bet on baseball, that is an accepted fact. His amazing career as a player should not be punished for his bad decisions as a manager.

Rose was arguably the best all-around hitter that baseball has ever seen. He holds records that still stand today including, most major league career hits (4,256), most at bats in a career (14,053). He also holds the National League's record of most runs scored (2,165). By these numbers alone, Rose deserves to be in Cooperstown. Rose accomplished all of these records without the use of steroids or nutrition shakes.

Rose is not in the hall because he tainted the image of baseball. Take a moment and look at some other players who made it to Cooperstown but were not upstanding citizens.

First, think about the Georgia Peach, Ty Cobb. He was a known racist, bully, wife beater, alcoholic and linked to a murder. I'm not sure if Cobb could be called a racist, seeing how he hated anyone who wasn't named Ty Cobb. He made some of the most outstanding numbers in all of baseball but is mainly remembered for being a jerk.

Babe Ruth was a womanizer, who drank too much and smoked cigar's like his life depended on them but both of those players are in the hall.

George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees, was banned from baseball. The following passage can be found on www.baseball-almanac.com. "In 1990, baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent ordered the Yankees' owner to resign as the club's general partner and shockingly banned him from the day-to-day operations of the team for life. The ruling came as a direct result of Steinbrenner's $40,000 payment to confessed gambler Howie Spira for damaging information about the since-traded Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner was later reinstated in 1993."

Rose played with a passion, playing every game as if it were game seven of the World Series. In the 1970 All-Star game when Jim Hickman hit a single to center field, Amos Otis, the center fielder; caught the ball and hurled it toward the catcher, Ray Fosse. Rose rounded third base, being waved home emphatically by third base coach Leo Durocher. Rose, running towards home plate in a game that didn't even matter, collides with Ray Fosse, altering his career forever.

That was the player Rose was, that's how he earned his nickname Charlie Hustle. That is how he should be remembered, as a great ball player, always willing to sacrifice his body for the team. He should be enshrined in Cooperstown, where he belongs.

If Major League Baseball is serious about keeping there image untainted then they should not allow Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire or any other player who broke records while playing under the cloud of steroids into the Hall of Fame.

Rose has suffered enough; he has been banned from baseball for 16 years. The time will come when Rose is enshrined in Cooperstown and I sincerely hope that it happens in his life time. Yes, Rose was a jerk, he bet on baseball but Cooperstown is for great players, not great people.

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